Many areas in Selangor and Klang Valley were hit by significant floods last December. This happened after a few days of continuous downpour.
Even though the flooding phenomenon is expected to happen around that time on the east coast, no one has seen it coming to this golden State of Malaysia on a massive scale. The floods have claimed more than 20 lives in Selangor alone to date.
The day was Saturday, Dec 18. I was still in Shah Alam for the Halal Selangor Media Familiarisation Trip. It was our final day, and we were set to finish the trip around 1.0pm. We had our lunch in Setia Alam before preparing to go back to Kuala Lumpur.
It was already flooding at the Setia Alam Toll. Many cars could not pass through the floods and had to stop at the roadside. Fortunately, our vehicles could pass through the area, but the exit to Shah Alam was already closed.
I did not know much about the route, but we finally got into Shah Alam via Bukit Raja. If you’re familiar with Seksyen 7 area, you will know that there’s a lake near UITM Shah Alam where people usually go for picnics and jogging. There’s no hint that the place was a recreational park, to our surprise! The water level had risen so high that it was the same level as the road.
We tried every exit to Kuala Lumpur, but every route was flooded. It was a continuous game of waiting and trying. Not to sound dramatic, but it was the closest I had ever been to an apocalypse movie.
“We will see and try this exit. It is our last resort. If not, we have to wait until the water recedes,” said one of us.
We tried the said exit and failed to go through the floods. Then around 6 pm, we finally decided to rest at Shah Alam City Centre Mall. I felt bad for the drivers because it was already tiring even as a passenger.
Water enters the house
Long story short, my father, accompanied by my brother, decided to pick me up at the mall. From our house, they had to take a longer route via Jalan Kapar. The journey back home was pretty blurry. The rain showed no sign of stopping. The water had risen on the road, but cars could still pass by.
When we reached home, the water entered our house through the kitchen and bedroom. It was the first time for us to experience such a thing, so we were pretty much unprepared.
It was nearly midnight when the water entered through the front sliding door into our living area. Realising that it could worsen, we decided to move into my aunt’s house, located two kilometres away.
My aunt’s house was on high ground. The water did not enter the house, but we were practically living on an island. We had to park the car on the main road and walk to the house, braving through the floods.
On our first night there, we felt a mix of relief and worry. The rain would not stop pouring, and we had no idea how bad it had affected our house. But scrolling through social media and seeing how Malaysians helped each other out warmed our hearts.
A new experience
We went back home the next day to pick up some clothes, and the water level at the compound was already up to our calves. Many of my father’s chickens were already dead and floating in the water. There was nothing much that could have been done. So, we just continued staying at my aunt’s house, and my father would go back every day to check on the house’s condition.
The broken bund from a nearby village did us no favours either. The water had finally receded after five days, although we had to wait longer for the bedroom since it was on the lower ground. My uncle, aunt and cousins helped clean the living area as some furniture could no longer be used. My family and I finally returned to our house after two weeks.
We were among the fortunate. At least the floodwaters carried no mud into our house. Although it did bring some smell from the chicken coop, everyone was safe. It took some time to pump out the water as the water level was still high outside the house. I could not imagine the feelings of those who experience the floods every year; it was a lot of hard work.
Things happened in the blink of an eye. It just never occurred to me that I would be affected by the floods and stranded in the city of Shah Alam. It might just be an experience for me, lazy weather to few (sic), but it was a disaster to many.
My experience was not as bad as those stranded on their roof for hours waiting for help and those who lost their loved ones.
This experience does make me wonder. As said by some, this major flood incident will be only a one-time thing? Or is this the result of climate change?
Maybe it is time for the authorities to address this issue on a bigger scale. Hopefully, it does not take many more lives for them to rectify the problem. — @Green